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My Father My Lord

Directed by David Volach

Israel | 72 minutes | 2007

Hebrew with English subtitles

A heartbreakingly tender new entry into Israel s ongoing filmmaking renaissance, My Father My Lord is an anguished, mordant sigh of a fable set in the ultra-Orthodox Israeli community in which writer-director David Volach was raised. This astonishing debut feature is a beautifully made film portraying childhood at its most transcendent and fundamentalism at its most intimately corrosive. We do everything in the Torah without asking why, Rabbi Eidelman (Assi Dayan), a pious, respected elder in a cloistered Hasidic enclave tells his wonderstruck only son Menahem (Ilan Grif). But at an age where life prompts questions increasingly outside the confines of doctrine, Menahem unwittingly runs afoul of his father’s inflexibility. Mindful of her marriage vows but accepting of her son s boyish curiosity, Rabbi Eidelman’s wife Esther (Sharon Hacohen Bar) is caught in the middle. A holiday at the seashore meant to reconnect the family brings the ideological rift between pre-teen boy and middle-aged man to a biblically and dramatically tragic climax. Lifting equally from the secular religiosity of Krzysztof Kieslowski’s The Decalogue and the aesthetics of Jewish ritual itself, and profoundly compassionate toward its characters, My Father My Lord shines with a radiance and grave grace.
Foreign Title Hofshat Kaits
Director David Volach
Countries of Production Israel
Year of Presentation 2007
Language(s) Hebrew with English subtitles
Premiere Status
Runtime 72 minutes
Principal Cast Assi Dayan, Ilan Griff, Sharon Hacohen
Award(s)

Winner of the Jury Award for Best Film at the Tribeca Film Festival

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